This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. China's economic growth has slowed down to a three-year low. That's according to new figures released today. The numbers matter to us because of the way the world economy is so interconnected. Americans import a lot from China, sure, but have also been working to boost exports to other nations, including China.
NPR's Louisa Lim joins us from Beijing to make sense of the latest news. Hi, Louisa.
The ancient desert town of Timbuktu is under assault in the west African nation of Mali. Islamist forces have taken over much of northern Mali where Timbuktu is located. One group, allied with al-Qaida, has begun systematically destroying Shrines that celebrate ancient Muslim saints. Human Rights Watch Senior Researcher Corinne Dufka talks to Renee Montagne about the destruction.
Voting rights have been a big topic at this year's convention of the NAACP in Houston. Republicans across the country have been pushing for tougher voter I.D. laws, which the nation's oldest civil rights organization contends are aimed at hurting voter turnout among African-Americans. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden joined a long list of convention speakers addressing that issue, as NPR's Don Gonyea reports.
And the biggest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, says it has lost $4.4 billion from its failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader. That's more than twice the bank's earlier estimate. The company released its second-quarter earnings report this morning, and NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us now to talk about them. Jim, what is the company telling investors this morning about that money?
Some future news now. The Olympics begin two weeks from today in London, and we can already tell you the likely big winners. China will take the most gold medals, followed by the U.S. and host country, Great Britain. Team USA will win the most overall medals, followed by China and Russia.
Freddie Wood stands at the counter of the Wood & Swink general store in Evinston, Fla.
The Wood & Swink general store sits near the crossroads of two county roads. Wilma Sue Wood, who was Evinston's postmaster for 32 years, says the town's 150 or so residents visit to hear news: "Who's had a baby; who's died."
The store also sells produce from the Woods' farm.
Evinston's post office is on a U.S. Postal Service list of rural facilities facing cuts in their operating hours.
"The post office and the store, I just love it," Wood says. He spends most of his afternoons sitting in a rocking chair in the middle of the store.
Freddie Wood stands at the counter of the Wood & Swink general store in Evinston, Fla. The store, founded in the late 1800s, houses the oldest post office in Florida.
Freddie Wood and Wilma Sue Wood, the former postmaster in Evinston, Fla. Wilma Sue says people visit the post office to learn "who's had a baby; who's died."
This month, the U.S. Postal Service begins cutting back hours and services at rural post offices across the country. One store facing changes sits inside the Wood & Swink general store in the northern Florida town of Evinston. The store has been in Freddie Wood's family for more than 100 years. In that time, it's gone through only small changes.
Some of the most interesting discoveries in archaeology come from sifting through ancient garbage dumps. Scientists working in Oregon have found one that has yielded what they say are the oldest human remains in the Americas and a puzzle about the earliest American tools.
Early Americans used Oregon's Paisley Caves for, among other things, a toilet. Little did they know that scientists would be picking through what they left behind.
Half of San Bernardino County's 300,000 mortgages are underwater. In an attempt to ease the mortgage crisis, the Southern California county is considering taking control of some of those properties by eminent domain.
County and city officials in San Bernardino, Calif., are considering a controversial plan: using the power of eminent domain to take over "underwater" mortgages, where the value of the home is worth less than the original loan. Taking on those properties, officials say, would allow the homeowners to refinance those troubled loans.